Apple wants to hit the road, jack so that it can make its phones thinner. It will also have the advantage that people who have invested a fortune in headphones to plug into their iPhones will have to buy new ones from Apple.
But it seems there might be a backlash as few in the Tame Apple Press seem to like the move. Apple fanzine the Verge even called the move “user-hostile and stupid.”
One good reason is that the headphones have to be digital and that makes it dead easy to install DRM. For years the music industry has fumed that analogue jacks made it impossible to enforce DRM. Now Apple is making their dreams come true.
By restricting audio output to a purely digital connection means that music publishers and streaming companies can start to insist on digital copyright enforcement mechanisms.
Another issue is that wireless headphones and speakers are pants in terms of sound quality. They sometimes crackle and fail and if you are in a room with other wireless devices it is not going to be much fun at all.
Bluetooth headphones will mean that there is another battery which will need to be charged.
Sure, you can get yourself a dongle, which converts the digital signal to analogue, but you have to carry the sod about with you.
All this is an inconvenience to the user, breaking something that works well, all for the sake of a millimetre thinner iPhone.
The worry is that manufactures will start copying Apple on Android phones. No-one has asked for wireless headlines, or thinner phones (face it they are about as thin as you can get). Had Apple called for a referendum chances are there would have been few that would have supported Jackexit [surely Jackoff.ed]. Who really wants fewer ports or more dongles?
What users really want is better battery life and wireless headphones are going to put pressure on that.